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If a person is a smoker and experiences long-term shortness of breath, cough, and phlegm, these symptoms are considered sufficient for a COPD diagnosis. However, a definitive diagnosis requires respiratory function testing. The respiratory evaluation test, which takes only a few minutes, is performed by having the person take a deep breath and blow into a respiratory device.

This test provides valuable information about lung capacity and the stage of the disease, making it important for individuals, especially those over the age of 40 who smoke, to undergo this test at least once a year.